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Americans aren't having as many kids anymore

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 12/21/2016 Jessica Durando
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The United States population this year showed the slowest growth since the Great Depression, as three of the biggest states lost residents, according to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau report. 

Nationally, the U.S. population grew only by 0.7% to 323.1 million. As baby boomers have continued to decline, they haven't been replaced by new births among younger generations or immigration increases.

Illinois lost more people than any other state. Pennsylvania and New York also were among eight states that lost population between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016. The other states that lost people are Connecticut, Mississippi, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

Meanwhile, Utah proved to be the fastest-growing state in the country, with a rate of 2%. The state that’s long had the highest birth rate in the U.S., was followed closely by Nevada, Idaho, Florida, Washington, Oregon and Colorado in percentage-growth.

“States in the South and West continued to lead in population growth,” Ben Bolender, chief of the Population Estimates Branch, said in a statement. He said the demographic shifts mean 24% of Americans live in the West, and 38% of the population is concentrated in the South. 

In Utah, the growth was split nearly evenly between new births and migration of people attracted by the strong tech and financial industries, Pam Perlich with the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute told the Associated Press. The state is also home base for the growing Mormon church.

Top 10 States in Percentage Growth:

1. Utah

2. Nevada

3. Idaho 

4. Florida

5. Washington

6. Oregon

7. Colorado

8. Arizona

9. District of Columbia 

10. Texas Newborn babies sleeping in hospital nursery. © ERproductions Ltd/Blend Images/Corbis Newborn babies sleeping in hospital nursery.

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